If you think vaping with electronic cigarettes is safe, think again. While many consumers consider vaping to be a healthier alternative to cigarettes, a recent string of illnesses and deaths have been linked to e-cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), severe lung illnesses have totaled 805 across the United States — up from 530 just a week before the latest figures were released.
CDC data regarding 771 patients treated for vaping-related lung illnesses include:
- Males — 69%
- People ages 18-34 — 62%
- People ages 18-21 — 22%
- Minors — 16%
Surge in vaping-related illnesses prompts feds to act
The death toll has now reached 16 after Oregon state health officials confirmed a second death on October 2. E-cigarettes containing THC and nicotine are believed to be the culprit.
In response the surge in vaping-related illnesses, the CDC has urged the public — especially teenagers — to withdraw from vaping while an investigation into e-cigarettes and other vaping products is conducted.
One particular e-cigarette brand has recently come under fire. Federal prosecutors have launched a probe into Juul Labs, a San Francisco nicotine-based vaping company, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg says the company controls more than two-thirds of the e-cigarette market.
The investigation, which was led by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California, seeks to find evidence that the hundreds of illnesses and more than a dozen deaths are linked to Juul's products.
In addition, the Federal Trade Commission and some state attorney generals are scrutinizing the company on suspicion that they knowingly marketed vaping products to minors. In 2018, vaping among minors was declared an "epidemic" by the U.S. Surgeon General. On its website, the federal agency warns that nicotine-based e-cigarettes contain hazardous ingredients, including:
- Nano particles that can enter deep into the lungs
- Diacetyl, a flavorant that can cause serious lung disease
- Easily evaporated organic ingredients
- Toxic metals, including nickel, tin, and lead
The Surgeon General also warns that the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can hinder brain development in adolescents.
Why avoid vaping and e-cigarette products?
The CDC concludes that the cause of vaping-related illnesses is unknown. Currently, no single product or substance has been identified as a leading cause. According to the CDC's lung injury case count map, Texas has had 50-99 cases of vaping-related lung diseases.
While an investigation is underway, the CDC suggests doing the following:
- Refrain from using all vaping and e-cigarette products and/or quit smoking cigarettes altogether.
- Do not buy vaping products off the street, as they could contain dangerous, synthetic compounds.
- Avoid using vaping products altogether if you are a minor, pregnant, or adult who has never used tobacco or vaping products.
- If you experience any symptoms, such as shortness of breath, coughing, or chest pain, seek immediate medical attention.
If you have sustained a serious injury or illness after using a vaping or e-cigarette product, it's critical that you speak to an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. With a law office based in Fort Worth, Attorney Coby L. Wooten is dedicated to tackling complex product liability cases and helping victims maximize their compensation. Set up your free case evaluation today by contacting us online.